Evermore, by Alyson Noel
I’m not going to fill this review up with information about Alyson Noel since you can go to her website… http://www.alysonnoel.com/. I trust that anyone reading this already knows how to use the interwebs and all. So we can get right into the book.
I frequently pick books off my sister’s shelf since she has so many. She reads a lot of YA and works at B&N so she’s got a discount and everything. Good for her and good for me because I’m certainly not able to buy most of the books I’d like to review. Maybe one day I’ll be such an important reviewer that people will actually SEND books to me!
Anyhow, I grabbed Evermore from her because I know it’s a pretty popular book. I’ve seen it mentioned here and there and thought it’d be a good one to check out in case all the fuss was warranted. And because I’m still sort of procrastinating my reading of The Book Thief for the podcast.
It took me a little over a week to read Evermore. That should tell you that I wasn’t so interested that I had to immerse myself until it was finished (Twilight was so infectious that I read the entire book in a day). However, that doesn’t indicate that I didn’t enjoy the book – just that it wasn’t what I’d call a page-turner.
The premise was interesting to me. After a bad accident and almost dying, the main character, Ever, can see auras and read thoughts. She’s not thrilled about it since she also feels guilty for the accident that her family and left her alive. Then a guy shows up that she can’t read and the plot unfolds from there. The idea of seeing auras is certainly not overdone in the YA world, so it hooked me right away.
I must say that giving this character the name ‘Ever’ felt like cheating. I think that’s probably the one thing that bothered me throughout the entire story. Really? Ever Bloom? In a world where JK Rowling exists to give us phenomenal names with deep meaning, what author would purposely choose an obvious and non-ironic name like Ever? Her sister has a normal name (Riley) and so does the love interest (Damen). If this book went wrong anywhere, I’d say it was in the name of the main character. Complete wasted opportunity to use something better – something that would make readers think and wonder. So a fail on the character’s name.
Especially since the author put so much thought into the flowers in the book. That was a wonderful device that kept the readers and the main character wondering about Damen’s intentions. He “gave” one of the silly cheerleaders white rosebuds on several occasions while he gave Ever red tulips. While the reader could figure out that there must be some meaning behind it (because why on earth would he be interested in the cheerleader?) it added interest to the plot and conflict for Ever. Nicely done.
The voice of the main character came through as believable. She’s a little sassy but guilty and the ghosts of her past still haunt her (literally). She’s a well-rounded character for me. It was easy to understand why she developed in the way that she did. I enjoyed being able to be sad for her, frustrated at her and happy when she got things right in the end. I definitely felt like I could connect with this character.
I didn’t, however, find that her connection with Damen felt natural. It felt forced and I’m still not quite sure where the development got messed up. It seemed like the two were jammed together because that’s what the plot needed in order to work but a few things sort of fell by the wayside in result. I don’t think enough emphasis was put on the fact that Ever couldn’t “read” Damen. I think the author meant for it to come across, but it fell flat for me. I kept wondering when I was going to get to that moment where reasoning clicked. But the connection between the two of them was never sufficiently supported. We find out that they’ve known each other through several lifetimes, but that just wasn’t enough for me. It wasn’t enough to drive the story.
Despite that, I found the plot interesting and the other characters were woven in well between the two main characters. The flow was consistent and the development was logical and real for me. It wasn’t packed with action, but it didn’t need to be. And even though Damen and Ever didn’t connect right for me, their story was interesting enough to keep me interested and guessing at what would happen in the end.
I also really like that it took Ever so long to really come to the conclusion she needed. She was quite torn up and distressed so if she had immediately skipped from her heartbreak to accepting Damen’s love, the story would’ve been ruined. The ending would’ve been cheesy. But having it drawn out, making Ever really work for it, gave the plot and characters more depth and rounded it all out very well.
So even though a couple of things bugged me, I would definitely recommend this book to someone. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can find it at Amazon or at your local bookstore.
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Until next time… go read something good!